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View Diary: Rudy Giuliani was a 9/11 Failure (413 comments)

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  •  Thank you! Thank you! (1+ / 0-)
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    davefromqueens

    I'm tired of hearing commentators who never spent significant amounts of time in NYC in the '80s and '90s credit that consummate egotistical gasbag with "cleaning up New York". Most recently I heard it from those overconfident, over-educated (with disappointing results) under-read Slate podcast "stars". Every time I hear it I want to spew.

    Giuliani just happened to be mayor during the tail end of the gentrification that started in the late '70s/early '80s under Koch. This gentrification was fueled by artists, refugees from the horrors of Suburbia (like me), and, most significantly, moneyed gay men and lesbians, many of whom were employed in the financial sector and had spare cash to buy coops/condos and "fixer-upers". Ten years post-Stonewall, they wanted to be out and proud in, at that time, a city devoid of the suburban, middle-class, judgmental, Republican mindset.  

    These different groups came to a city financially devastated by the reign of Republican Mayor John Lindsay ... the ruins ineptly dealt with by his Democratic successor Abe Beame. They came when the city was broke and when the city's middle-class base had all but fled for Long Island, New Jersey and even farther.

    The revival started at the wane of the 70s and grew like a steamroller throughout the 80s. All real New Yorkers know that Giuliani was elected because the electoral base had changed ant there was a vibrant middle clasee who was sick of the corrupt Democratic machine running the city (the corrupt Republican machine was done in by Lindsay himself during his term as mayor.)

    Only ignorant out-of-towners and my "New York is Sodom" mother would claim that Giuliani "cleaned up New York".

    Thanks for this diary. It made my very shitty day a bit more cheerful!

    "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." - Ken Kesey

    by Glinda on Fri Feb 23, 2007 at 06:53:08 PM PST

    •  In my little tirade above ... (0+ / 0-)

      I forgot to point out that you didn't mention the local scandal ... unfortunately never covered much in the NYC papers post-9/11 but rife on the NYC non-profit gossip circuit at the time ... of Giuliani appointing then girlfriend and consummate "power-whore" Judith Nathan as head of the Family Center on Pier 94.

      The Family Center was already well underway with a number of the city's most effective non-profit organizations cooperating to provide a space for the families of the victims and the unaccounted for to meet, find support, and grieve. There were very experienced savvy people already involved just hours after the towers fell. We had (and have) some of the most experienced grief counselors (think "AIDS pandemic" and the number of gay men affected in NYC and the support organizations involved) and emergency response experts in the country.  And one day Rudi-babes watzes into the Family Center and announces his paramour is in charge.

      I heard the horror stories for weeks from my friends in non-profit. Judith has no more talent for organization, charm, and compassion than the pre-9/11 Rudi. Finally the talent at the Family Center figured out to give her a big office and a lot of reports and keep her away from the families. She was a nightmare.

      Rudi had one good day as Mayor. Period! I'll admit I was astonished and impressed by that one day. But goddammit, it was only one day. The rest was a horror show.

      So Giuliani is amazing in a crisis, egostistical, Napoleon-complex crap the rest of the time. What was that memorable line from "Full-Metal Jacket"?

      "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." - Ken Kesey

      by Glinda on Fri Feb 23, 2007 at 07:18:31 PM PST

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